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John A. Wallace, MSW (1915-2000)

John Wallace was an internationally known expert in the field of corrections, who began his career in corrections as a deputy probation officer in Ramsey County, Minnesota. He later became the assistant director of probation and parole for the State of Minnesota; the executive assistant of the National Probation and Parole Association (which later became the National Council on Crime and Delinquency), in New York City; and director of probation for the Supreme Bench of Baltimore City, Maryland. He was the first director of probations, Office of Probation, for the Courts of New York City, where he consolidated and reorganized probation services in the city.

Mr. Wallace later served as an advisor to the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Social Welfare for the Government of Sri Lanka through the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). He developed training programs in both agencies to improve the use of probation and parole.

After returning from Sri Lanka, Mr. Wallace joined the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) in Washington, D.C., where he served as acting director for a short period during a change of administrations. During his years at NIC, he was loaned to UNDP by the U.S. Department of Justice, and served as advisor to the Ministry of Justice, Government of Papua New Guinea (PNG). In this capacity, he helped to develop the laws creating the probation and parole systems in PNG.

During his remarkable career, John Wallace was a member of 17 state and national task forces and commissions, including: the first Advisory Board of the National Institute of Corrections, the ACA Advisory Board on Revision of Correctional Standard, the Joint Commission on Correctional Manpower and Training, the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice, and Standards and Goals of Criminal Justice. In addition, he served as a commissioned officer in the Medical Administrative Corps during World War II and was a member of the Reserve Officer Corps for 18 years following active military duty. 

Mr. Wallace’s honors and awards include the “Distinguished Citizen” award, which he received in 1965 from the Macalester College Alumni Association, and the “Outstanding Achievement Award,” conferred in 1968 by the Regents of the University of Minnesota.

Mr. Wallace received a bachelor of arts degree from Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota, and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Minnesota.

Social Work Pioneer 2002

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